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of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will be in a period of morning business for an hour. republicans will control the first half, the majority the second half. following morning business, we'll resume consideration of the supplemental appropriation bill. i mentioned last night, madam president, that we're going to have to move forward on this bill. i have been told that the republicans want to have a substitute, and we look forward to whatever that might be, that we can set up a series of votes to satisfy those people who want to change this bill in some manner. i would just note that the people in the northeast, other states but principally new york and new jersey, there are 700,000 people who have lost their homes and are still -- tens of thousands of those homes have been destroyed. other people are still living in very, very difficult situations. when we had this devastation we had in new orleans, we got the aid to those states very quickly. the po
. mr. reid: madam president, following leader remarks the senate will be in a period of morning business until 2:00 today. the republicans will control the first 30 minutes and the majority the final 30 minutes. the time from 11:30 till 2:00 p.m. will be for remarks by retiring senators. following morning business we'll resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 3637, the tag extension legislation. the filing deadline for first-degree amendments to that legislation is 1:00 p.m. today. madam president, the headline news for the last many weeks has been the fiscal cliff. in speaking with the president six months before the election, a few weeks before the election, a few days before the election and immediately after the election, he indicated that we needed to get our financial house in order and that his goal was to do just that. but to do that, because of past experiences, he laid out what he wanted, and that's very simple. the rates for those who have been blessed with economic security in this country will have to pay a little bit more and those middle-class american
, please. mr. reid: i'll are start over again, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that on thursday, that's today, december 13, at a quarter till 2:00 the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations, calendar numbers number 830, 832, there be 0 minutes for dwaid debate equally divided in the usual form, upon the use or yielding back of that time the senate hat proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on calendar number number 830 and 832 in that order. that the motion to proceed be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and there would be no further motions in order. and any statements related to this matter be printed in the are appropriate place as if given and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business until 1:45 p.m. today with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. fu
of giving u.s. workers and businesses a chance to compete and vote in favor of pntr. i might add, madam president, i want to pretty much thank my colleague from utah, senator hatch, who is a very good person. we have worked very closely together. the two of us make a good team to get this legislation passed. mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i want to praise the distinguished chairman of the committee. he has done a wonderful job on this. of course it's been a pleasure to work with him. madam president, this bill marks an important step forward in our relations with russia and moldova. once this bill is signed into law, our workers, job creators and farmers will be able to take full advantage of russia and moldova's ascension to the w.t.o. -- accession to the w.t.o. the bill citrus strong enforcement provisions to ensure that russia lives up to its international trade obligations. finally this bill will help advance human rights and the rule of law in russia. today's vote would not be possible without the combined efforts of many dedica
that work. thank you, madam president. and i thank my colleagues. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call: mr. mccain: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended and that i be recognized to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: one of the most overused quotes about this town is harry truman's observation years ago that if you want a friend in washington, go out and get a dog. i spent a good many years here now, and i suppose there is a little truth in that advice. some washington friendships can be a little like temporary alliances between nations that for a brief period of time have mutual interests or enemies, but not all friendships here are like that. not all of them. today i say a former fond farewell to a departing colleague whose friendship has been and will always be one of the greatest treasures of my life. my friend senator joe lieberman is retiring from the senate after 24 years
, the ranking member mr. berman of california. >> thank you very much, madam share, for convening this hearing to continue our examination of how we should give our government officials serving around the world the necessary protection to carry out their jobs. first i would like to wish secretary clinton a speedy recovery and hope she gets some well-deserved rest. as she nears the end of her service as the secretary of state, i think it is inappropriate time to recognize the strong and steadfast leadership she has demonstrated over the past four years. among her achievements, she has the the problems of women and girls in the forefront and helped make their voices heard around the world. the secretary has brought needed attention to the danger of the repressive governments including the important emphasis on the internet freedom. she initiated the quadrennial diplomacy and development review to improve the work of our international affairs agencies coming and she has been a leading advocate for the use of smart power, which advances the role of diplomacy international alliances, multilateral i
on the intelligence committee for a long time, i do not have, madam president, the faintest idea of what anybody's talking about are respect to a dossier. so senator udall and i followed that up as well. we asked the director to clarify that statement. we asked -- and i quote -- "does the n.s.a. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans?" so that, too, is a pretty straightforward question. the questions that senators have been asking about this are not, you know, real, you know, complicated. if you're asking whether the national security agency is addressing these privacy issues, i think it's one of the most basic questions you could ask. does the national security agency collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? and if the agency saw fit, they could simply answer that with a "yes" or "no." instead, the director of the agency replied that while he appreciated our desire to have responses to those questions on the public record, there would not be a public response forthcoming. so to go over the exchange again, the dir
today. madam president, across the country, americans are lamenting that lack of progress in negotiations to avoid a massive tax increase on middle-class families -- and i really share that frustration. consider yesterday's failure, the disabilities convention at the hands of the tea party. this shouldn't have been a battle, but extreme elements of the republican party picked a fight where there was nothing to fight about. 38 republicans voted against the convention, including several who are on record supporting it, even cosponsors of it. this treaty already ratified by 125 countries would hold foreign nations to the same high standard of treatment that the united states already maintains for people of disabilities. and it would sative american citizens traveling and working abroad, and that's hundreds of thousands of people right now. the treaty has the support of veterans groups, disability groups from around the country, virtually all of them. it wouldn't cost the taxpayers a single penny. it wouldn't require any changes to existing united states law, and the issue is
--. the presiding officer: we're in a quorum call, madam. ms. mikulski: i ask that the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: and i ask to speak on the pending nomination of judge paul grimm on which we will vote on shortly. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: thank you very much, mr. president. mr. president, i am so proud to be here to support the nomination of judge paul grimm. a stellar marylander and outstanding legal mind and nominated to serve on the district court of maryland. senator cardin and i recommended judge grimm to president obama with the utmost confidence in his abilities, talent, and competence for the job. and the a.b.a. agreed with us and gave him the highest rating of unanimously qualified. i'd like to thank senators reid and mcconnell for breaking the logjam so that we could bring this to everyone's attention and commend senator leahy for the swift movement through the committee process. i take the -- i've had the opportunity to recommend several judicial nominees, and take my advise and consent responsibilit
. mr. whitehouse: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island is recognized. mr. whitehouse: may i ask unanimous consent that we continue in morning business until 7:00 p.m. the presiding officer: is there an objection? no objection, so ordered. mr. whitehouse: i note the absencabsence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call: mr. begich: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska is recognized. beck beck recognized. mr. begich: i ask we vacate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. begich: you now lay before the senate a message from the house with respect to h.r. 2838. the presiding officer: the clerk lays before the senate a message from the house. the clerk: resolve that the house agree to the amendment of the senate to the title of the bill h.r. 2838, a title enact to authorize appropriations for coast guard for fiscal years 2012 through 2015 and for other purposes, and be it further resolved that the house agree to the amendment of the senate to th
? i yield the floor, senator leahy. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, what is the parliament situation? the presiding officer: the senate is in a period of morning business. mr. leahy: i thank the distinguished presiding officer. i assume then that we're going back and forth? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: madam president, i would be happy to accommodate other senators, but i came to the floor to speak for about ten minutes on the supplemental. i see senator mccain. i don't know if he came to speak on senator inouye or the supplemental. senator merkley and senator stabenow want to offer an amendment or introduce an amendment. is that appropriate? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. that is appropriate. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i would request we do as usual in morning business, back and forth, if that's all right. if i could follow the senator from louisiana? the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: and if the senator would yield, the senat
. quorum call: quorum call: mr. levin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: madam president, i ask further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the only additional first-degree amendment remaining in order to the bill be the following: mccain amendment 3262 on syria as modified with changes at the desk, that there then be 20 minutes equally divided in the usual form on the amendment, that any remaining time prior to 4:30 be equally divided between the chairman and ranking member for general debate on the bill, and that at 4:30 all postcloture time be considered expired, the senate proceed to a vote -- to votes in relation to the mccain amendment as modified, that no amendments be in order to the amendment prior to the vote, that upon disposition of the mccain amendment the senate agree to the pending kyl amendment, which is a kyl-kerry amendment, 3123 as modified. that upon disposition of the kyl amendment the senate proceed to a vote
, very important. welcome, madam secretary, and i look forward to your testimony thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you all and i want to remind my colleagues that the record will be open for the next seven days for opening statements and any materials who would like to submit. i will briefly introduce the honorable senator enriques the department of urban development and in this capacity has day-to-day oversite of hud's public housing and programs as well as other programs you may proceed with your testimony >> thank you and good morning. chairman johnson, ranking member shelby, and members of the committee, thank you for letting me testify this morning on reform and voucher public housing programs. they provide critical housing assistance in communities across the nation. these programs serve extremely poor families, many of whom are elderly or disable. noise surprisingly, with the recent recession, the demand for rental assistance increased. we reck news the need to streamline and simplify the assistance pro
session. mr. reid: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to a period of morning business and that senators are allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 246, s. 1792. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar numbered 246, s. 1792, a bill to clarify the authority of the united states marshals service and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time, passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there being no intervening action or debate and that any statements related to this matter be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask we proceed to calendar numbered 233, s. 1793. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar 233, s. 1793, a bill to amend title 28 united states code, and so forth and f
: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i would ask unanimous consent to be able to speak as if in morning business until senator leahy arrives. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you. madam president, what i was just suggesting is there are ways to do deficit reduction that are fair. the first point, in terms of $4 trillion over a ten-year period, we have already cut over $1 trillion in terms of spending , $1.1 trillion. number two, i think the president is right in suggesting that we have got to ask for significant revenue from the wealthiest people in this country, the top 2% without asking for any tax increases for the bottom 98%. and that would add $1.6 trillion in revenue, bringing us somewhere around $2.7 trillion. so we have a $1.3 trillion problem. that is not over a ten-year period a difficult problem to solve. let me just throw out a few ideas, and i'm sure other people have equally good ideas. madam president, before you cut social security, medicare and medicaid, we might want to address the reality that th
reform. madam president, what i have done today is to lay out a way -- and i know other senators will have ideas and i hope they will bring them to the floor, but i have laid out a way for us to raise the debt ceiling by around a trillion dollars and in return have entitlement reform on a dollar-for-dollar basis, saving and reforming these programs so that seniors in the future certainly will have the opportunity to continue these programs that you depend upon so much and the young people, the young people that are coming behind us will have the certainty that we asthma tour adults i hope have dealt with these issues in an appropriate way. so, madam president, i thank you and i yield the floor. mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. merkley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon is recognized. mr. merkley: i ask the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. merkley: thank
on s. 3254 as amended. the senator from michigan. mr. levin: madam president, i will take but one minute. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. go ahead. mr. levin: i will take but just one minute. i just feel so grateful and so proud that a tradition of our committee in this senate has been maintained. our 51st cost-effective defense authorization -- 51st consecutive defense authorization bill, a bill that is vitally important to our nation. i'm grateful to our colleagues for working on a bipartisan basis through a normal and open legislative process to produce this bill. i'm grateful to stand here with my partner, senator mccain, and work together on this bill, to all of the members of the committee, to our staff, the floor and cloakroom staff. we passed over 100 amendments. it was a process which allowed us to be just as accommodating as we humanly could. again, the balance of my statement will be put into the record, but one person i want to single out is someone who has worked for the committee for 41 years. this will be her last year, chris cower. she is our ch
for the immigration of its citizens, affecting mainly soviet jews. it was controversial in its time. madam president, people said why are we connecting human rights to trade? why is the united states doing that? after all, trade is so important. well, we did it and it made a huge difference, and we were able to get soviet jews out of the soviet union. we spoke for western values in our trade legislation. we protected the rights of individuals that refused this. when i first came to congress 26 years ago, i joined the congressional caucus for soviet jewry. i wore the wristbands. 25 years ago, i marched in washington, a march for soviet jews. we stood up for basic rights, and we changed the landscape on this issue. i had a chance to be with natan sharansky and celebrate what he meant to freedom around the world. we initiated that with jackson-vanik. it's a proud chapter in american history. today we end that chapter because jackson-vanik is no longer relevant to the human rights challenges of our time. but with the passage of the sergei magnitsky accountability act, we meet the challenges of our time.
, and so forth and for other purposes. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, on behalf of senator inouye, the chair would send -- the clerk has reported the bill; is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. leahy: you have a substitute amendment which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from vermont, mr. leahy, for mr. mr. mr. inouye proposes amendment 3338. mr. leahy: on behalf of mr. inouye, i have an amendment to the substitute which is at the desk. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from vermont, mr. leahy, for mr. inouye, proposes an amendment, number 3339. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'm going to speak briefly on this in just a moment. in the meantime, i will suggest the absence of a quorum, but i will call it off very quickly. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy
support this legislation before us. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: madam president, i understand now under the existing unanimous consent agreement that we are going to be proceeding to debate a judge. i would ask unanimous consent that immediately after the disposition of that nomination that i be the first democratic senator recognized when we return to the pending trade bill. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 676, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, michael p. shea of connecticut to be united states district judge. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont is recognized. mr. leahy: madam president, the senate is finally being allowed to vote today on the nomination of michael shea to be a district judge in the united states district court for district -- the district of connecticut. it has taken a long time for this day to c
. these remarks are 15 minutes. >> madam president, it is very difficult for me to rise today with a heavy heart, to bid aloha, aloha to my good friend, colleague and brother, daniel inouye. it is hard for me to believe the terrible news i received is true. senator inouye was a true patriot, an american hero in every sense. and he is, at this time, in hawaii, the greatest leader. he served his country as a soldier, receiving the -- highest honor our nation can be so. when we think of how he began to serve his nation, it was difficult to believe the difficulty in hawaii as japanese americans to be a part of our nation's military, they were denied, they were considered aliens of this country. but he was one of those that wanted to serve his country and they went to the highest level to receive, to receive the dignity, and eventually they were given the honor to serve our country and as we now know, they became the greatest unit in military history with the most decorations of any unit and also with the highest level of decoration of the medal of honor. he served as a leader, the third longest serv
. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coburn: and i believe i'm through, madam chairman, and i would make the following point. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: again i want to thank the gentleman from oklahoma for offering all of his amendments. i would like to comment on coburn 3370, division 1 on the tax cheats. i certainly want to compliment him on that amendment. every single senator wants to prevent tax cheating, tax cheaters from receiving any funding in this bill. i'm for all of these prohibitions on tax cheats. i carry a similar provision in my usual and customary commerce-justice bill. the senator from oklahoma also is very sensitive about modifying it. his bill covers tax cheats and also dead people can't get federal funds. he modified it to cover funeral expenses. but we've also been told that this, by the finance committee that this amendment is not a blue-slip issue. i support the gentleman's amendment. and if it's agreeable with the gentleman from oklahoma on this side, we would like to take his amendment tonig
for two minutes. >> thank you, madam ranking member. and i thank the chair as well. and i thank the witnesses for appearing. it is my belief that the general public probably does not put a lot of emphasis on words like arbitrage and cross-border swaps. but i do think the general public understands that a major institutions such as aig ought to be properly funded. and i think the general public understands that this country by and through its representatives did the right thing when we did not allow aig to bring down the economic system, not just in this country but probably and possibly worldwide. so i'm here today to thank you for what you're doing to help us perfect dodd-frank. there is still great work to be done, but anytime we pass legislation of this magnitude, there is work to be done in the years to come. i plan to work with you, and a plan to work with my friends across the aisle to make sure we do this great work it and i yield back the bounds of my time. >> and the gentleman yields back, and that concludes now all time for members of both sides. that we turn to our pa
for the minority especially to be able to offer amendments? if we can do those o things, madam president, at the beginning of the year, i think the united states senate will begin to function much more effectively. it will be a better place to work. we'll get our job done in a better way. there will be less finger pointing and more results. there will be a change in behavior, which is what we really need instead of a change in rules. and it will inspire the confidence of the people of the united states about the kind of job we're doing. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: is en mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i ask the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i rise to say what as important day it is for the u.s. coast guard. our communities who benefit from those services, the men and women who answer the call to serve. the reason i say that is because we have passed a bill that gi
should defeat coburn. mrs. feinstein: well, thank you very much, madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: thank you, mr. president. one of the things that i have learned in chairing the energy and water subcommittee, which is the committee that handles appropriations for the army corps of engineers, is how really difficult it is to get projects started, funded and constructed. and so i am one, particularly in view of storms, earthquakes, floods, damages, that you also need to do the mitigation because once it happens once, there's a heavy likelihood that it could happen again. so i rise in opposition to this amendment. the provision that the senator from oklahoma proposes would essentially take a project that's authorized, that has gone to the corps for study -- i beg your pardon? the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mrs. feinstein: may i ask for two minutes additional time, please. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. feinstein: thank you very much. would essentially take a corps project that ha
recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman garrett. thank you ranking member, madam waters and mr. gensler and mr. cook, the witnesses. i want to remind my colleagues of the importance of cooperation and collaboration with our international partners. i believe the u.s. should demonstrate our global leadership by raising our financial standards and not entering into a race to the bottom of sorts of banking standards. i also believe that the provisions of dodd-frank that were in place five years ago would not have faced, we wouldn't have faced the economic crises we are just beginning to crawl out of. so i'm very reluctant to carve out more exceptions or exemptions to dodd-frank before rules are fully put in place to fully implement the law or without more speculation that could go wrong. my colleague, peter king, would have us suspend enforcement of dodd-frank's volcker rule until our international partners have instituted their own regulations addressing proprietary trading. as i mentioned in my opening statement, i strongly believe that the u.s. should lead by example and not wai
the rest of the statement for the record. thank you. >> madam secretary. >> good morning, chairman menendez, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding recovery from superstorm sandy. in my role as to the secretary of grant programs with hud i am responsible for the community development's block grant program, the disaster recovery grant and home program. the disaster recovery program is critical to helping communities recover from and rebuild after natural disasters like superstorm sandy. this morning i will discuss sandy's impact on housing and the work had has started and will continue for long term recovery in the region. additional details on these points on secretary donovan's role as head of the sandy recovery task force are provided in witness testimony. hurricane sandy and the nor'easter that followed had massive and very impact on the atlantic coast from virginia to rhode island. especially hard hit were new york and new jersey, two of the nation's critical economic engines. one of the major effects of storms like sandy is damage to homes and apartments and individuals, ex
. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 3393 offered by the senator from maryland, mr. cardin. ms. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: first of all, madam president, the senate is not in order. and if i could outline -- the presiding officer: may we have order in the chamber, please. ms. mikulski: if the chamber could be in order, i could outline what i think would be an expeditious way of disposing many amendments that would be done in a collegial way. it is my understanding that we will be able to adopt a number of amendments by voice. in order to do that, i will call up a few more amendments now en bloc before a voice vote on the amendments. i ask unanimous consent to call up the following amendments en bloc: grassley 3348 and feinstein 32 -- excuse me, feinstein 3421, as amended. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the clerk will report the amendments by number. the c
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